As a follow-on to Operation Paperback, if you prefer the more direct route, please try Books for Soldiers another non-profit group getting books to deployed soldiers (recommended by Consumer Reports). At the Books for Soldiers site, soldiers post reading requests and their address, and you can mail a package directly to them.
The site's founder describes his motivation thusly:
During the first Gulf War, several of my friends from school were in the reserves and were activated to fight the Iraqis. CNN reported that once the soldiers were deployed, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.
I am a voracious reader and at the beginning of the Gulf War, I had a closet full of paperback books. Books that were not being used. So instead of selling them at the used book store, I packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I had addresses for.
Within a few weeks, I ran out of books before I ran out of addresses. Friends and family members began donating their paperback books and in the end, over 1000 books were sent to the Gulf.
After the war, we received many thank-you notes from soldiers who got one of our books. Unless it was time for them to fly back home, mail-call days were one of the most anticipated events of deployment. Regardless of why the military is deployed, the men and women of our armed services are there for us. They deserve our support and if we can make their deployment easier, then all the better.
We may not agree with the military undertaking, but this is a worthy cause.
Labels: Books for Soldiers